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SAMPLE ABSTRACTS [good, okay, poor] Argument Scope Aims/benefit

Abstract 1: Clear, concise and fulfilling all requirements The chair, more than any other piece of furniture, has come to act as a design barometer representing social, economic and technological change in the modern world. As a designed object common to us all, they invariably possess materiality, form and pragmatism. Modern chairs also speak figuratively of the post-modern age in which we live. Whilst the cultural and symbolic history of the chair dates back to antiquity, the last century, in particular the post-war era, has seen the chair ascend to what is arguably as important an artifact as any. This paper will contend that the chair is the consummate designed object in defining our time and place in the world since 1945. By initially investigating the work and ideology of the avant-garde movements in the early part of the twentieth century, we will see how and why they influenced chair design in the second half of the century. As an extension to this, chairs presented from prominent designers in the latter half of the twentieth century will offer why such an object is emblematic of the era from which it came. Moving forward to contemporary and present day chair design, it will be revealed that many designers are now using the chair as a social narrative and offer it as an object of critical, not necessarily pragmatic design. The culmination of the research will reinforce that a designed object, often overlooked through its commonality is indeed emblematic of the age in which we exist. Abstract 2: convincing but lacking in full description of scope As modern designers we face the daily choice of choosing to design either products, advertising and other saleable goods, or critically oriented objects which stimulate questioning into people’s values and inspire thought and ideas. I intend to argue that the former, affirmative design (less the context of necessity), is socially destructive and does not contribute to the happiness of individual. Furthermore I'll argue that product design and advertising generally exist for the sole purpose of increasing profit and therefore encourage a materialistic outlook, entrapping people in a society that value things and money more than the individual and his/her subjective happiness. This trend often leads to inequality and encourages negative emotions and the selfish, destructive effort of individuals seeking to raise their social status with wealth, at the cost of others.


However the alternative, critical design, I argue is a constructive way to create a questioning and flexible lifestyle. It encourages the individual to think about the values they hold and to generate ideas for their own betterment. I will also outline the fundamental principal that ideas and their influence on life are lasting, where material things and designer products are not. Encouraging the development of wisdom (defined as knowing the most positive and constructive action to undertake at any moment) is essential in creating a happier more productive society. Production, should therefore be focused on ideas and finding values that support happy lives rather than on “things�. The design of objects should therefore be delegated to the purpose of creating an economical and efficient system to support an ever growing population in a world where resources are limited and the potential for individual happiness, through better ideas and thought processes, is not. **This abstract is missing a clear statement of the scope of the study Sample 3: presents a clear point of view, but NOT an argument, also fails to specifically address the scope of the study and does not articulate what benefit this study might offer Environmental sustainability has received a large amount of attention in recent years, with the introduction of hybrid cars and electricity saving light-bulbs people have grown to embrace the newage technology. However this embracement has grown to a new level in the last decade, the huge advancements of technology that have focused towards promoting consumerism have begin to strip away at whatever progress we as humans have made towards building for a eco-environment friendly Earth. We as humans are forced to live a life of unemotional attachment towards our advanced instruments, no-more do we appreciate the value of our gadgets, instead we are constantly pining for better, newer, shinier and more resource hogging devices, our own human addiction to these new-age gadgets are blinding us to the effects we are having upon our environment. This impact goes unnoticed, something as simple as two Google.com search produces the same amount of carbon-monoxide as boiling a jug of hot water [1]. The constant introduction of new and updated products not only consume large amounts of resources, but also material, energy, time space and real innovative potential, in some cases new models reach the consumer shelves before the replaced model even does. Peter Verbeek and Adriaan Slob state that around 90% of computers in the United Kingdom are disposed of while still functioning perfectly, while 20% of washing machines are disposed of fully functioning. What’s known as the psychological lifespan seems to be the most influential factor in discarding products. The psychological lifespan is based around the concept of consumerism, where the consumer is forced into believing that a product becomes obsolete much sooner than it does. In the case of computers, the average lifespan in the UK is around 4 years, while computers can last over 10 years. This concept of consumerism blinds us against the impact that our apparent need for the latest technology has upon the environment and other factors.


Sample Abstracts